An Empathetic Contemplation

I thrive in the feeling
Knowing someone will care
Reaching out to the world
Listening to me when I share
I ask only that you listen
Because knowing that you’re there
Comforts my soul
No longer in despair
The friendships we value
Can fill our heart
When we find them depleted
Down the road that we chart



Out of all the blessings we may be able to think of, for me the most noble is having Empathy.  Empathy is a noun for understanding.  Other words are:

  • affinity
  • appreciation
  • compassion
  • insight
  • rapport
  • warmth
  • communion
  • comprehension
  • concord
  • recognition
  • responsiveness
  • soul

The world would be more harmonious if and only if we can successfully teach our children empathy on a significant global scale.  I consider myself to be very empathetic, and in my observations, I must say that there is a price to be paid and a gift to be received on our ability to connect with others.  When one gives of themselves to connect with others allowing them to “see through the ambiguity” or “see them for who they are” the richest attribute of our human experience is in this bonding!  Empathetic people seem to be able to have a deeper understanding of those around them.  In some cases words do not have to be spoken for them to be able find the meaning out of the fragments of what has been spoken by other people.  The skill of performing on this level is really not that difficult if we pay attention! 

Is it possible that many of us are consumed by things that distract us from what is going on presently?  So we often live by autopilot, and thus, dismiss others around us and miss out on the opportunities that are necessary to revive our unfortunate humanity when we deal with others around us.  We sleep walk through our lives, missing out on what is truly essential for our well-being.  We become habitual and consistently replicate these behaviors despite the calling our community is summoning!


For whatever reasons we stop paying attention, we miss out on our opportunity to attend to others in need  Have you ever had a reassuring voice that “felt” something you could not voice at the moment?  Do you remember if you were down and someone else was able to sense this, and gave you a helping hand, or lent an ear to listen to you?  Having moments that take us by surprise and having others who can pick us up when we are down, is proof positive that we are strongest in positive communion with others .   Providing something (the giving of one’s attention) that was not there before can shift one’s outlook in a time of need.  Simply put: the empathetic contemplation can be a very powerful za za zu!

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

~~ John Lennon

3 thoughts on “An Empathetic Contemplation

  1. I saw somewhere that people who read are more empathetic.
    “Turn off the effing TV screen and read a book because you’re directly increasing misery in the world!”

    But I don’t think misery’ll ever be eradicated, and I think the quantity and breadth of our empathy is limited. For instance, it’s difficult to feel any real empathy for the refugees fleeing Syria. You’ll feel sad when you hear an anecdote about a specific family, but you can’t think of the entire crisis and have empathy for the entire region. Likewise, you can have empathy for a homeless person, but you aren’t going to experience vicarious sadness for the ten thousand homeless people behind LA’s street shrubs. But if you see a homeless person on a bus, you’ll feel empathy for this isolated, individual homeless person.
    So I guess it’s worth keeping in mind the limitations of our empathy, knowing that our emotions towards others are always short. So that, for instance with the US’s immigration issues, you can imagine yourself empathizing with a single person who’s laying brick to feed four toddlers, and understand your empathy for the whole 20 million is lacking for precisely the reason that it’s impossible for one person to empathize with 20 million people. And so you know not to act on that lack of empathy.

    1. I absolutely agree, my point was to simply acknowledge what is possible. I had in mind the idea of a post I viewed on some social media source that spoke of a teacher whom had extended some positive reinforcement out to Down syndrome children or some similar ailment, and used the High Five to offset any negative communication between the kids! After continual use of this behavior his students replicated this kind of behavior and there was less criticism amongst the students, and greatly increased positive encouragement between the classmates. Astounding results for simple behaviors resulted in profound change on such a small amount of energy.

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